So, as many of you know, our house has been undergoing some … upgrades, and as a result, the air in the house has been rather dusty, a good portion of the time. A couple days ago, my computer started making some horrible noises. Normally, I leave it on all the time, but I started having to turn it off because I was a.) worried that the cooling fans would seize up, and the system would overheat, and b.) the noise was keeping me up at night.
Turns out, the problem was that all the fans in the machine were shot, or needed some cleaning. The CPU heatsink fan was so gunked up, it’d get “stuck”, even though the bearings were actually still alright. After cleaning that out, and purchasing a pin heat sink, rather than the fin style that’s more common (the pin heatsinks are really, really cool from a heat-dissipation perspective, and surprisingly, substantially more efficient at heat exchange than the traditional model. On top of that, I know the guy who invented them, so it’s sort of entertaining, in that respect). I bought a kit with the pin sink and a fan, but the fan was SO LOUD that you could hear it in the dining room, on the opposite side of the house from the computer. So, I cleaned out the old fan, and mounted it to the new sink, and things were good. Mounted the crazy-ass fan to the old fin style sink, and now I’ve got something if I wanna overclock my old Celeron, which I really don’t.
But, that didn’t fix the problem. I knew the muffin fan in my power supply was gunked up, so I opened up the power supply, and took out a giant dustball that happened to contain a fan. Blew out the power supply, too, and promptly started sneezing. I mean, this thing was pretty much a block of solid dust, not unlike what you’d find in a vacuum cleaner bag. But, I put in an Antec Blue LED muffin fan, so now the back of my computer glows blue. No, I wouldn’t have gotten it, except for the fact that it was identical in price to all the other fans, so it didn’t seem to matter. ‘sides, it looks cool, sorta, when all the lights in the house are off…
But still, the really irritating noise persisted. So, after poking around a bit, it turned out my video card’s processor fan was the culprit of the nasty grinding noise. The problem is, when my computer’s on its side, and running (which is what orientation it’s in when I’m working on it) the fan’s quiet. But after about 30 seconds upright, it starts making some really hideous noises. Took off that fan, blew out the clogged up heatsink, and felt the rotation of the fan. Sure enough, the bearings in this little fan aren’t sealed, and the bearings were shot. All crunchy on the inside. Another trip to CompUSA got me a not-quite-right-sized replacement, but it was good enough to screw in in a way that held it on ok. Higher powered fan, too, so that’s good, ’cause that card (GeForce2 Pro, Hercules) gets pretty darn hot.
So. That’s every fan in the system. My computer’s still not particularly *quiet*, say, but at least it doesn’t sound like I’m running over cockroaches with a go-kart anymore.